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Article: Minnesota Twins Agree To Deal With Ricky Nolasco

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#61 Reider

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 01:32 AM

It was a wise move by Terry Ryan to sign a bona fide starting pitcher, even if he's not a true ace. However, Ryan needs to sign at least one more quality pitcher. Anything after that would be a bonus (e.g. signing a 3rd pitcher and / or a position player).

#62 Sconnie

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 06:32 AM

I'm a big WAR guy, but I still feel WAR doesn't fully appreciate innings pitched. The strange thing is that a pitcher who pitches 200 innings greatly decreases the amount of innings pitched by (typically) below-replacement level sixth and seventh starters.

Is there a stat for "keeping the long reliever out of the game"

#63 Sconnie

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 06:36 AM

Am I the only jerk on here who feels that this move has made us World Series contenders? Am I wrong for feeling that way? Should I feel guilty and ashamed?

you should not feel guilty, embrace fandom for what it is. That's why we're commenting on a 96 loss baseball team's blog in November.

I don't agree, but I support.

#64 Shane Wahl

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 08:23 AM

Very odd that you suddenly come around to WAR all of sudden, when less than 24 hours ago you were completely ignoring it in regards to Pelfrey who you called terrible and "Hendriks could put up equal numbers" even though Pelfrey put up 9.2 WAR over his last 5 full seasons. (including last year)

Additionally you were telling us all how Doumit could be expected to outproduce Salty overall at catcher, when a quick glance at WAR shows us that in the last year Salty beat Doumit in WAR 3.6 to 0.1, in the last two years: 4.5 to 1.5 and in the last 3 years: 7.1 to 3.4

I'm not saying WAR is the end all be all stat (never have) but its a little odd you suddenly only respond to this signing, by using WAR as your only rebuttal, when you have done nothing but dismissed it time and time again very recently when it conveniently didn't fit your narrative.


Dismissed WAR?? Uh, never. I prefer BRs version, though. Pelfrey's WAR for the past 5 seasons is 3.3 or something like that. Nolasco's 6.1.

And where did I say anything like that about Doumit and Salty? I have wanted Doumit gone for *months* and have said that I wanted the Twins to go big Salty or not bother at all at that position.

Anyway, it's as though you have me confused with someone else. We have argued about the different WARs, yes.

I don't really understand the love affair with this move. The train ain't rollin'. People seem to be jumping to the conclusion that the Twins are going to keep adding FA SPs. It's pretty doubtful.

#65 Jim H

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 08:38 AM

Nolasco seems to be a pretty good choice. Since what is available is mid rotation starters, it is nice they picked one who has been pretty consistently good. I would rather see 3 years, but I doubt if they had much choice in that. I expect another decent starter, then it is up to the holdovers and kids coming up to make a good rotation. Which it always was, there was never enough talent out there to buy a post season rotation.

#66 Zephrin

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 09:16 AM

The key for me is that I can envision Nolasco pitching on a playoff roster - albeit probably as the #4 on a competitive playoff roster. I'm fairly certain I would not have been comfortable saying that about any of the other FA pitching signings these past few years.

Hopefully some combination of Meyer, Gibson and Deduno can grow into playoff roster-caliber pitchers as well.

Personally, I don't like the cost-to-upside ratio of the other FA pitchers. As much as I'd hate to see some of the promising prospects go, the best way to add another solid piece to a future playoff roster is probably via trade.

#67 howieramone1406390264

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 09:40 AM

The key for me is that I can envision Nolasco pitching on a playoff roster - albeit probably as the #4 on a competitive playoff roster. I'm fairly certain I would not have been comfortable saying that about any of the other FA pitching signings these past few years.

Hopefully some combination of Meyer, Gibson and Deduno can grow into playoff roster-caliber pitchers as well.

Personally, I don't like the cost-to-upside ratio of the other FA pitchers. As much as I'd hate to see some of the promising prospects go, the best way to add another solid piece to a future playoff roster is probably via trade.


I see it the same way. If we fill another spot in the projected 2015 rotation this winter, it will be via trade. I hate to see us deal our young prospects, but Berrios, Thorpe, Polanco, and Kepler have to be attractive to the right suitor.

#68 DAM DC Twins Fans

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 10:55 AM

Like Shane I am not a big fan of this signing. Its OK--not great. What is Nolasco--an innings eater yes, an ace--no. On a playoff team he is a number 4 starter. Is he better than anybody the Twins have now--maybe. His career numbers are basically 190-200 IP a year with an ERA of 4.37. Last year Corriea threw 185 innings with an ERA of 4.18. Pretty similar.

It will help with the pen--good. As somebody suggested maybe we can reduce our pen and add an extra bench guy which is good when the minor injuries crop up.

Nolasco is 31 (or will be soon)--so is starting the downside of his career. He has only been an NL pitcher so not used to facing DH instead of pitcher. I am not a fan of WAR I will admit. As to FIP--we have to remember that Twins defense is below average--with Willingham, Doumit, Arcia in the corners and Presley in CF--a lot of flies turn into singles and singles into doubles. I would be very surprised if Nolasco has a winning record in 2014 or an ERA much lower than Correia. This probably adds 3-4 wins to our total at best. I hope in the third year of this contract (2016) Nolasco is a 4 starter (if on the team) behind the likes of Meyer, Stewart, Gonsalves, Thorpe, Barrios etc.

My other worry is if Twins sign another free agent--will money be available in 2016 for Sano, Buxton, Meyer etc.

#69 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 12:09 PM

As I have been very, very negative about the idea of TR actually stepping up and making this team really good, rather than just better, I have to applaud this signing.

It needs a Garza or a Kazmir to make it a real possibility that we could be competitive inside and outside of our division, but it is a promising start.

Kazmir/Garza
Correia
Nolasco
Gibson
Deduno/other guys

with Meyer sliding in when ready. Things could be looking pretty good.

#70 Tibs

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 12:47 PM

Like Shane I am not a big fan of this signing. Its OK--not great. What is Nolasco--an innings eater yes, an ace--no. On a playoff team he is a number 4 starter. Is he better than anybody the Twins have now--maybe. His career numbers are basically 190-200 IP a year with an ERA of 4.37. Last year Corriea threw 185 innings with an ERA of 4.18. Pretty similar.

It will help with the pen--good. As somebody suggested maybe we can reduce our pen and add an extra bench guy which is good when the minor injuries crop up.

Nolasco is 31 (or will be soon)--so is starting the downside of his career. He has only been an NL pitcher so not used to facing DH instead of pitcher. I am not a fan of WAR I will admit. As to FIP--we have to remember that Twins defense is below average--with Willingham, Doumit, Arcia in the corners and Presley in CF--a lot of flies turn into singles and singles into doubles. I would be very surprised if Nolasco has a winning record in 2014 or an ERA much lower than Correia. This probably adds 3-4 wins to our total at best. I hope in the third year of this contract (2016) Nolasco is a 4 starter (if on the team) behind the likes of Meyer, Stewart, Gonsalves, Thorpe, Barrios etc.

My other worry is if Twins sign another free agent--will money be available in 2016 for Sano, Buxton, Meyer etc.


I think you are missing the point that Nolasco instantly makes the starting rotation better. This also means that one more spot of the rotation won't be taken up by a AAAA or low quality pitcher. He doesn't turn us into a World Series contender, but it is a step closer.

#71 johnnydakota

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 01:05 PM

I think you are missing the point that Nolasco instantly makes the starting rotation better. This also means that one more spot of the rotation won't be taken up by a AAAA or low quality pitcher. He doesn't turn us into a World Series contender, but it is a step closer.


Take out 32 starts from some of those AAAA pitchers and insert rickys and it is a vast difference , Yes Curly Did Good ....To be honest , there were no F.A. pitchers this off season that made me giddy , But this signing at those dollars is a big step in the right direction ..Thanks Terry keep it going,Now sign Kazmir,Garza ,Chavez and Navarro. But take time to have a happy thanks giving

#72 spycake

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 01:52 PM

Interestingly, Carlos Silva signed almost the exact same contract (4/48 plus an option) with Seattle after 2007 (although with inflation, that might be equivalent to 4/56 now?). At the time, Silva was 2 years younger than Nolasco is now, and he had a 102 ERA+ and averaged 193 IP and 2.2 bWAR as a starter, with ERA generally matching his FIP. Nolasco has a 95 ERA+ and averaged 192 IP and 1.8 bWAR (most of that bWAR coming in 2008, fWAR: 3.2 average).

Kyle Lohse's 4 full seasons with the Twins: 99 ERA+, 189 IP and 1.9 bWAR average (2.3 fWAR), tracking 4 years younger than Nolasco.

Suggests both Lohse and Silva were underrated, particularly Lohse who was unceremoniously dumped at age 27. Hopefully Nolasco tracks closer to Lohse than Silva over the next 4-5 years!

#73 JP3700

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 02:28 PM

Slight edit to the post above: it's rWAR not bWAR.

I wasn't a fan of Nolasco as well, due to performance. I like FIP and xFIP and I think it's important to look at, but after a certain amount of time, you are who you are.

I thought I'd do a little digging however on why his secondary numbers translated better to his actual performance in 2013. I stumbled upon this.. http://www.fangraphs...os-career-year/.

The few things I took away is that..
- using his slider more
- changed his fastball approach
- slightly changed his arm angle

So there's a good chance that he figured some things out, rather than it just being luck.

#74 Oxtung

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 02:45 PM

I see it the same way. If we fill another spot in the projected 2015 rotation this winter, it will be via trade. I hate to see us deal our young prospects, but Berrios, Thorpe, Polanco, and Kepler have to be attractive to the right suitor.


None of those listed will bring much of value back this winter. They are all too far away and not highly enough thought of to have much value. They are the guys you throw in to push the deal over the top. They're flyers. The center piece of a trade would have to be Perkins, Buxton, Sano, Meyer, Rosario or Arcia, perhaps Dozier or Pinto. Depending of course on who the pitcher coming back is.

#75 by jiminy

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 02:51 PM

OK, the Twins signed Ricky Nolasco. I think it's a very good signing, but I have a question. The Twins had 39 players on their 40-player roster. With just a few days until the Rule 5 draft, will the Twins drop someone from the roster to draft someone, or will they wait until after Nolasco passes a physical exam? Either way, I figure the team will soon have to drop one or more from the roster. Who will that be?


couldn't they just wait till after the Rule 5 draft to sign Nolasco?

#76 spycake

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 02:57 PM

Fangraphs did some crowdsource predictions of the free agent market -- and Nolasco was pegged at 4/50:

http://www.fangraphs...-free-agents/#7

Of course, the same exercise also has Ervin Santana at 3/39 which seems absurdly low. Garza (4/59), Jimenez (4/49), Kazmir (2/17), and Hughes (2/16) seem pretty realistic, however.

Also, fWAR was the stat of choice presented with each free agent, so that probably skewed things in Nolasco's favor a bit.

#77 spycake

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 02:58 PM

couldn't they just wait till after the Rule 5 draft to sign Nolasco?


I suspect that is what will happen -- contracts often aren't officially confirmed/announced for several weeks after (it makes for a confusing read at MLBTR sometimes!).

#78 BigTrane

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 04:16 PM

Couple of ways to look at this signing- personally, I like it.
Twins didn't overpay in a thin market when we're desperate to improve.
Innings-eater who stands to benefit in TF? What's not to like if this is just Step 1?

Also noted that this is the biggest FA signing in club history.
Is Mr. "FA is not the way" TR under orders?
Reports I'm seeing is that Twins are being extremely aggressive this offseason.
That's music to my ears, and represents a sea change for the club- good. Finally!

As a 3x90+ loser, there's no way we're a go-to destination for FA SPs.
Gotta be realistic, folks. We have to build a bridge, otherwise we can't get there from here.
This is a serious step in the right direction.

I've stated previously that the Twins have to pony up just to get in the conversation with decent FAs. As it happens, we're relatively flush with cash now, and can still afford another arm (or two, I hope).

This was a good buy, better than a trade w/prospects moving on.
We've got a good farm w/depth & will see Buxton, Sano, etc. making the transition in '14.
My greatest worry to date been that habitual Scrooge TR was not inclined to spend to put together a credible rotation to support them.

My gut tells me that TR has seen the writing on the wall, knows he's painted himself into a corner, and has no option but to go out there, spend for once, and get deals done. I expect another SP signing nothing spectacular- esp. given this market- and then maybe a serious play for Salty. Not a fan of him, but whatever. We need a couple of good arms and depth at C wouldn't hurt, though I want to see Pinto get a clear shot in '14.

TR's job is on the line, IMO, and if they don't make moves like this to put together a credible starting rotation, then we will continue to be stuck in the AAAA mode of drafting well/developing, then losing our good players to FA. I for one am sick of that "model". If mid-market teams like the Cards (and '13 KC were credible) can put together contenders year after year, then why not the Twins? Something does not compute.

Bottom line: Twins have a cash cow in Target Field, moved a lot of bucks off the books, and have the $25m TV money coming in. There are no excuses not to spend now. Twins fans are on the verge of open revolt, and not making serious moves risks alienating the fan base and killing the golden goose, TF. We're a repeat loser shopping in a crappy market and have no choice but to suck it up and spend now. Next offseason should see a better SP FA market.

The last thing I want to see is Twins flogging Buxton jerseys in '14 (I can hear Dick Bremer now) with a crap rotation & no chance to win. Welcome to the bigs, you're hung out to dry?
No thanks.

When you're worse than even the 'Stros (good God!)- at the bottom of all MLB in ERA, there's only one way to go- up. This is a good deal. Hope they keep it going.

#79 johnnydakota

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 04:37 PM

Interestingly, Carlos Silva signed almost the exact same contract (4/48 plus an option) with Seattle after 2007 (although with inflation, that might be equivalent to 4/56 now?). At the time, Silva was 2 years younger than Nolasco is now, and he had a 102 ERA+ and averaged 193 IP and 2.2 bWAR as a starter, with ERA generally matching his FIP. Nolasco has a 95 ERA+ and averaged 192 IP and 1.8 bWAR (most of that bWAR coming in 2008, fWAR: 3.2 average).

Kyle Lohse's 4 full seasons with the Twins: 99 ERA+, 189 IP and 1.9 bWAR average (2.3 fWAR), tracking 4 years younger than Nolasco.

Suggests both Lohse and Silva were underrated, particularly Lohse who was unceremoniously dumped at age 27. Hopefully Nolasco tracks closer to Lohse than Silva over the next 4-5 years!


Closer to 4/64 million me thinks MLB inflation is closer to 6-7%

#80 Thrylos

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 05:20 PM

I just don't understand the concern with the full 40-man roster:

a. they can move off about 10 players with no issue when they sign their next free agents or they can trade a player or 2.
b. Would anyone really mind if the Twins actually go after good players this season instead of bottom feeding for mediocrity in the Rule 5 draft? Really?
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#81 spycake

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 08:47 PM

Closer to 4/64 million me thinks MLB inflation is closer to 6-7%


Could be, I was just basing that estimate on MLB average salaries, which have gone up from roughly $3 mil to $3.5 mil in that time.

#82 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 09:57 PM

40 man roster issues are the least of this teams problems

#83 nicksaviking

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 01:51 PM

Berardino says the 2018 option vests with 400 combined innings in 2016-17.
https://twitter.com/...494673323057153

That sounds like a bargain of an option. If a guy throws that many innings over two years, the Twins would probably be interested in keeping him regardless of the forced option.

#84 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 06:14 PM

Berardino says the 2018 option vests with 400 combined innings in 2016-17.
https://twitter.com/...494673323057153

That sounds like a bargain of an option. If a guy throws that many innings over two years, the Twins would probably be interested in keeping him regardless of the forced option.


Yeah, that's pretty much a "well, duh" option. 400 innings in two seasons means he's at least close to league average or better.

#85 Willihammer

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 06:25 PM

Best news in a long time.

#86 snepp

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 06:26 PM

Yeah, that's pretty much a "well, duh" option. 400 innings in two seasons means he's at least close to league average or better.


Not to mention healthy.

#87 Teflon

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 07:24 PM

Can somebody tell me what happened to Nolasco at the end of the season? He fell off a cliff at the end of September getting clobbered in three consecutive starts to the tune of 19 runs over 11 innings. He gave up another 3 runs in a 4-inning post-season start. Was he pitching hurt or something? Should I be concerned?

#88 DocBauer

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 09:26 PM

Going to disagree with a couple points made here in different posts.

While no ace to be sure, Nolasco's overall numbers, especially the past 3 seasons when he may have finally, really learned to pitch, coupled with being n some pretty bad teams, suggests he's better than a #4 starter on almost any team. I see a legit #3 with the POSSIBILITY of a 2 on a good defensive team with decent lineup IF YOU CONSIDER the past 3 season numbers. Wishful thinking? Perhaps. But again, the past few seasons speak to me of a guy really learning what it is to be a pitcher now.

Plus, 31 at the start of the season puts him in prime years as there is a different scale to measure the growth of a SP vs just a hard thrower vs a position player.

I also take a small issue with the Twins defense over the next season or two. If the Twins sign a vet C, and I think it's a foregone conclusion we will, the names we are tied to are solid defensively. If we don't make the big splash of Salt or AJ, which I Think IS a good possibility, we might even sign two to give Pinto a little more time. Mauer will be solid to good a 1B as early as this season. Dozier is the real deal with the glove and will only get better with more play. Escobar is excellent as is Floriman with the glove, giving us a strong, young, and improving keystone combo. Arcia is young and needs improvement, but is fairly athletic with a good arm, s young, and will improve. The key is Hicks just hitting well enough to hold on to CF while providing speed and power and sort of learning and improving on the job. If so, then Pressley and/or Matro in left gives us a pretty good defense. Willingham is going to be playing more and more at DH with a little LF accounting for some shifts. And Molitor is on board now to help his transition.

Some combination of TO BE SIGNED, Nolasco, Correia, Gibson, Deduno, Worley, Diamond and eventually Meyer is the best rotation we've had in some time, with a potentially excellent defense behind them, and excellent bullpen backing them up.

#89 Oxtung

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 02:05 AM

While no ace to be sure, Nolasco's overall numbers, especially the past 3 seasons when he may have finally, really learned to pitch, coupled with being n some pretty bad teams, suggests he's better than a #4 starter on almost any team. I see a legit #3 with the POSSIBILITY of a 2 on a good defensive team with decent lineup IF YOU CONSIDER the past 3 season numbers. Wishful thinking? Perhaps. But again, the past few seasons speak to me of a guy really learning what it is to be a pitcher now.


Nolasco is a #3 starter on most teams that didn't make the playoffs. On playoff bound teams he is a #4 starter. I compared Nolasco to every playoff teams' #3 and #4 starters for 2013. I looked at ERA-, xFIP-, SIERA, fWAR and rWAR; essentially the 5 best metrics available. Of playoff bound teams he was a #4 starter on 7 out of 10 teams. He was a #3 starter for the A's and wouldn't find the rotation for the Tigers or Indians.

TLDR: Nolasco is a #3 starter on 1 playoff team, a #4 on 7 teams and doesn't start for 2. To me that's all that matters, how does he compare to teams going to the playoffs.

#90 howieramone1406390264

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 05:01 AM

Nolasco is a #3 starter on most teams that didn't make the playoffs. On playoff bound teams he is a #4 starter. I compared Nolasco to every playoff teams' #3 and #4 starters for 2013. I looked at ERA-, xFIP-, SIERA, fWAR and rWAR; essentially the 5 best metrics available. Of playoff bound teams he was a #4 starter on 7 out of 10 teams. He was a #3 starter for the A's and wouldn't find the rotation for the Tigers or Indians.

TLDR: Nolasco is a #3 starter on 1 playoff team, a #4 on 7 teams and doesn't start for 2. To me that's all that matters, how does he compare to teams going to the playoffs.


How do Tanaka, Garza, Santana, and Jimenez compare, just to put things in perspective? You realize most look at scouting, make-up, and stats before assigning a number? As I have previously posted, he's a solid #3. I'm sure you know there are roughly 40 1's and 2's combined in all of baseball.

Edited by howieramone, 30 November 2013 - 05:22 AM.